Barclays advanced 2.3 percent, tracking a rally in bank shares across western Europe. Cable & Wireless Communications sank 12 percent after saying that it is “cautious” on the outlook for the Caribbean and that the company continues to face “weak or declining economies across the region.”
The FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 5,870.14 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London. Even so, the gauge has fallen 3.3 percent this month amid a commodity slump and concern that Europe’s debt crisis will derail the global economic recovery. The FTSE All- Share Index added 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index increased 0.4 percent.
“There remains a fair degree of negative and concerned sentiment in the markets regarding the European sovereign-debt situation and what may be down the road for not just Greece, but also Spain, Portugal and Italy,” said Joshua Raymond, a market strategist at City Index Ltd. in London.
The FTSE 100 has declined 0.5 percent this year, dragging its valuation to 10.3 times the estimated earnings of its companies. That’s near the cheapest since July last year.
Amec Plc, Next Plc and International Power Plc all traded without the right to their latest dividend today.
Barclays rose 2.3 percent to 271.8 pence. Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) climbed 2 percent to 50.7 pence.
Cable & Wireless Communications tumbled 12 percent to 42.4 pence, its largest drop in more than six months.
“We expect consensus expectations to come down nearer to ours,” Mark James, a London-based analyst at Liberum Capital Ltd. wrote in a report today. Its dividend may “come under scrutiny,” he wrote.
3I Group Plc (III), the U.K.’s largest publicly listed private- equity firm, increased 1.5 percent to 288.2 pence as Evolution Securities Ltd. upgraded the shares to “buy” from “add.”
“The outlook for 2011-12 is much better given the dynamics of the portfolio,” Bill Barnard and Michael Sanderson, London- based analysts at Evolution wrote in a report today.
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